Tectonics - Paul Tapponnier


Prof. Paul Tapponnier’s team is interested in continental dynamics and tectonics, particularly in Asia (from Myanmar to Mongolia) but also in the Middle-East (in Lebanon and around the Red Sea). Paul Tapponnier and his team investigate active faulting and seismotectonics and assess earthquake hazard by using quantitative geomorphology, rock mechanics and rock deformation physics.

Latest Projects

To improve earthquake hazard assessment in central China, Tapponnier is obtaining key data on ancient earthquakes and testing seismic recurrence models.

Tapponnier and his team are searching for past earthquakes in Nepal to determine what kinds of earthquakes may threaten Kathmandu in the next century.

The largest earthquake ever recorded in an ocean happened in 2012 in the Indian Ocean; yet even with modern instruments, scientists have debated how this rupture occurred. This project will use new datasets to fully understand this earthquake....

The Mentawai Gap — Tsunami Earthquake Risk Assessment (MEGA-TERA) project is a scientific expedition that aims to investigate the cause of tsunamis in the seismically active zone west of Siberut Island, near Sumatra.

Tapponnier and his team are implementing an innovative 3D model to simulate different types of faults. They will continually refine the model to more precisely describe the formation and evolution of large faults.

Slip-distributions along earthquake ruptures provide essential information to understand seismic fault behaviour, but remain poorly constrained on most faults.